Friday, April 10, 2009

I've Got To See More Films Like This One...Aa Gale Lag Jaa

My dil is smiling right now. It just is.

How could it not be after watching Aa Gale Lag Jaa, the 1973 film starring Shashi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore(along with a really cute kid)? Aside from two bothersome scenes (We'll discuss them later), the movie is just a bag full of goodies. I was grinning from ear to ear from start to finish...Take a peek at some of this stuff:

You know you're in for a real treat when the first line in the entire film is this:

Surely if I was going to star in a movie, this would be my opening line of choice as well!

We have Shashi on roller skates:

Sharmila looking stunning in every scene (I'm convinced she's the type of gal who can wear anything and make it look classy)...

A smitten Shashi...

Shashi's a single dad(How often do we see this in Bollywood?)!

...And Sharmila's a doctor!

Letter Mix ups!

The song that inspired the title for Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na!

A cute little kid that melted my heart every time he smiled (Or frowned, for that matter)!

Ice Cream!

Musical Chairs (I love musical chairs! I want to go to a grown-up party where this game is played--Wouldn't that be fun?)

Long-lashed Shashi pines for his love in this woeful-yet-touching song (Don't worry, Sharmila--its YOU he's singing about!)

Even the "villain" in this film joins in on the happiness when all's said and done!

As you can see, Aa Gale Lag Ja was brimming with goodness. Yet it was also more--a snappy little love story with misunderstandings and mishaps keeping our hero and heroine apart. You know, one of those stories that has you screaming at the tv, because only you,the viewer, know the real truth. Luckily (and surprisingly, because this is Bollywood), the film doesn't drag any of this out past much more than what it needs to---everything unravels at just the right time.

As if you needed any other reason to watch this, allow me to give you one more. The music! The songs in Aa Gale Lag Jaa are delightfully catchy and sweet, every single one. Like most of my Bollywood faves, every time I listen to this soundtrack it warms my heart as I reminisce about the corresponding scene from the film. Ahh, I can't say it enough--I'm so glad I found Bollywood!

I browsed through some of the other reviews on Aa Gale Lag Jaa and found that many listed all the film's ambrosial elements (Pony rides!Elephants!Shashi!Sharmila!)as I have. I certainly didn't mean to be redundant--but its just that its hard not to do exactly that when describing this film. Its truly a bag of treats, one I know I'll keep reaching in for more! (I know, I've used wayyy too many exclamation points in this review)...

(***WARNING***Slight spoilers ahead, but nothing that would prevent you from enjoying the film if you read***)

Which brings me to the bad news. Yes, believe it or not, I do have something negative to say about Aa Gale Lag Jaa. Two things, in fact. First (and if you've seen the film, I'm sure you knew this was coming) was the fact that Preeti (Sharmila's character) became pregnant after Prem (Shashi's character) slept next to her, saving her life (After a sudden accident that left her hypothermic) by transferring his body heat onto her. What?? Did I miss something??? Perhaps I was being naive, but I really assumed directly after watching this scene that Prem and Preeti merely slept next to each other in the nude (Strictly for medical purposes, of course). Now I was supposed to believe that...oh, never mind. Okay. It's Bollywood. You just have to take some things with a grain of salt, na?

The second thing that disturbed me was the scene where Preeti's fiance (because you know there's always a fiance lingering around keeping our protagonists apart), who also happens to be a doctor, starts whipping Prem's son (the kid from above photographs). Now, as I said, this little guy's as cute as a button--and also happens to be disabled. Who would want to watch him get hurt? Definitely not me! It helped a little that the doctor was actually doing this as a legitimate part of the boy's treatment, still stung nonetheless.

(****END of slight spoilers*****)

Those two things aside, it wasn't hard to love this film. Heck, I'd probably say its found a spot on my Favorites List--at least for now. If you need a dose of sunshine in your life, pop this in--you'll be grinning by film's end!

Finally, I'd like to thank all of you that are hanging in there and still visiting/reading/commenting on my blog. School's been crazzzyy...I've had very little time for recreational things such as writing and Bollywatching. But--have no fear! I've got quite the pile of films to dig into, and school's almost out in 3 weeks...Stay tuned!:)


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat April 10, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

The 2 issues you have with the movie are preciely what make me not like the movie- except for the songs- so much fun!I want me some roller skates everytime I see that wada karo...

Filmi Girl April 10, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

I need to see this!!!!!!!

And that kid eating the ice cream is adorable! Also Shashi with a baby is adorable! <3

JJC April 10, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

I haven't seen this one..or maybe i did as a kid and cannot remember, but seems like i shuold re-watch ;p
Im loving Sharmila's outfits..she always wore nice did hema malini.

Rum April 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

MASTER TITOOOO! My favorite filmi kid ever! I haven't seen this movie but i know i must with hypothermic bodies suddenly producing a cute kid like that!

bollyviewer April 10, 2009 at 9:30 PM  

What! Not a single shot of "Shotgun" Sinha?!!! I am familiar with the blinding properties of Shashi+Sharmila, but I thought SS did a decent job, too. Didnt you like him?

Even Beth was bothered by the pregnant-by-hypothermia plot twist and she spent a while trying to figure it out! I must confess that I didnt even blink at the medical marvel - guess I am blasé about movieland medicine by now. What did bother me, though, was the stalkerish aspects of the central romance. He pursues, she refuses, he doesnt take no for an answer and boom - suddenly she is the one who wont let go even years after his supposed betrayal. Makes one wonder exactly what went on during hypothermia-night!

But I loved the fact that it was the woman who unbeknownst to herself, is a Mum. Usually its the guy who comes back years later to find the woman bringing up their child. That was a totally novel twist and I dont recall seeing it anywhere else.

Sujoy April 13, 2009 at 6:57 AM  

Lemme just say, that DJ Aqeel and Bally Sagoo pay their credit card bills, just because RD Burman scored the music of Aa Gale Lag Jaa. Wada Karo is an immortal tune and I still love it. Brilliant post , loved reading it, and just got lost in the nostalgic lanes.


Nida April 13, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

Shweta--Me too! I'm a klutz on a pair of skates, but watching scenes like the one with "Wada Karo" makes me want to go to a skating rink with my Ipod! As for the two scenes...Yep, I can see how one or both of them would ruin the film for some. For me, I was able to forgive them because I liked the other stuff so much.

Filmigirl--Please do watch this!! I may be new to films from the 70s and Shashi and Sharmila in general, but I was sooo in love with them in here that I could watch this again and again!

JJC-In my opinion, this one's a classic! I've never seen a Hema Malini film(I know-perish the thought!), but hope to do so soon!

Rum--You must!:)So this guy's done a few films, hey? I think I remember him from Suhaag or something...

Bollyviewer--"Makes one wonder exactly what went on during hypothermia-night"--Too hilarious!!I apologize for leaving out SS. In fact, in hindsight, I realize I should have added something about him because he was so good and truly did add an important element to the film's storyline and the film in general. I'm going to have to go back and take a screenshot of him and add a paragraph on his character. Guess I just got so carried away with my Shashi/Sharmila/Tito shots!:) Also, I get what you mean about the romance, what with him pursuing and not taking no for an answer, then her seeming like the one that won't let go. Oddly enough, its the latter point that really made me like her character. I felt Shashi's character loved her so much that her showing the interest just made me root for the couple even more--I don't think I "bought" her love for him until the second half where they are reunited.

Sujoy--thank you very much!:) Yes, the music is "timeless", even though I don't speak Hindi I love every single song!

Anonymous,  April 13, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

yes time u started seeing some really gorgeous Hema movies!

Some to begin with include - Sita aur Geeta, Andaz, Naya Zamana, Johnny Mera Naam, Raja Jani, Jugnu, Shareef Badmash, Chupa Rustum, Abhinetri, Kudrat, Mehbooba, Dost etc.


memsaab April 16, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

You know it's going to be good when it's a Manmohan Desai fillum.

I *totally love* that man!

Crazy on Bollywood April 17, 2009 at 12:13 AM  

Nice movie.Nice story.Nice screen play.Nice song.Nice star casting.Getting bored to hear the same word NICE?K let me chk.Can i say something?In a word the movie is NICE one to watch.

Nicki April 17, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

I havne't seen this and looks really fun. Thanks for the review and caps. I've been busy with school too.

ajnabi April 20, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

I think it looks like fun, and Shashi looks delicious as ever! Great post Nida (oh, and maybe they were trying to scare young women away from getting naked with hot young guys and then saying, "But, maa, it was that or freeze to death!" LOL).

Nida April 20, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

Anonymous--THANK YOU! for the Hema recos--I'll add them to my list--:) and thanks for stopping by!

Memsaab--After seeing this and "Amar Akbar Anthony" I can definitely see why! Do you have any recommendations on films from THE MANmohan Desai or do I just watch 'em all?

Crazy on Bollywood--Agreed! Its a very NICE film, though not in a blah a delightful way!

Nicki--I don't know about you, but I can't WAIT for the semester to be over so I can get more Bollywatching time! You should see this, though--its very easy to like!

Ajnabi-LOL--Totally! Can you just picture a little Ponam from "Vivah" watching this and vowing NEVER to even look at a boy?

shell May 6, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

This film looks fantastic! It may be the first I take in made before 1995. I've seen so much of Shashi in the last month that I don't think I can bypass him anymore!

Anonymous,  May 14, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

the little kid is Aamir Khan! believe it or not! XD

Nida June 9, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

Shell--Do let me know what you think. This film really helped me see what most of the blogging world adores so much in Shashi Kapoor. He's adorable here!

Anonymous--Really,?! I thought it was Master Tito...

Anonymous,  July 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hans Meier August 16, 2011 at 3:49 AM  

Thanks, another delightful post about an especially delightful 70s Bolly. I think the film is above many others from that era.

What i didn't like so much was the generally very unrealistic acting and staging. With just a tad of effort it could have all been much more realistic (like when he fell down the slope, it looked like he pushed himself down, making sure to roll and roll and roll; and she "helpless" in that ice lake, doing nothing until Shashi-knight rescues her; then she breaks down with hypothermia but he not, even though he's been in the water too,etc. etc.)

But realism is clearly not a priority for Manmohan Desai. In all that unrealistic climate (more so than in other 70s Hindi movies), i didn't find the way the baby happened very much to talk about at all.

Actually, thinking too much about how-did-they seems to be a bit of a "yellow press" reflex; like those politicians who misstepped a bit and get chased by the press hounds for some bland affair - but nobody ever talks about their politics, what they did or did not for their community.

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